Thursday, March 15, 2012

Massage @ Roman Paradigm Massage & Therapy

Have I ever said how much I love massages?  Given any opportunity, I would have a massage any time, any place, any how and by anyone. Whenever there is a Groupon or Yelp Deal, and it features a massage, I nab it. 

I bought one for Roman Paradigm Massage & Therapy ages ago, I never had an opportunity to use it until recently. I think it may have just changed my life.

I called to schedule my 60 minute hot stone massage and said I wanted the therapist who gave the deepest, hardest massages. None of this frilly stuff for me, I train hard and I need to feel it deep in my sore muscles.

Rachael is the one they immediately said.

It was a Friday so I trained with Roy and then headed off to my massage. Traffic was a bear due to construction, I was running late. I have seen the place a zillion times but never knew what was in the building, close to Santana Row.

I came in and was greeted by two very friendly women, I used the bathroom down the hall and was led to a back waiting room to fill out paperwork. It was a casual place, comfortable and relaxed, it wasn't trying to impress or put on airs.

A striking man looked up at me and said to the woman standing near him "Oh my, look at this!" He walked over to me and with a smile said "Do you mind?" as he reached out to touch me, he wanted to feel my arms. "Ha ha, not at all, I love it!" I exclaimed. "Do you compete?" he asked, "Yes, I have a competition in 9 weeks" I responded.

The woman stood by watching and laughing, "we are a very friendly group here" and I told her "I can tell, that's good!"

The man walked away towards her with a grin on his face and said to her "Looks like you are gonna have fun with this one!" 

I was really starting to like this place! She walked over to shake my hand "You must be Rachael" I said and she acknowledged that she was my therapist.

We walked into the treatment room and she explained that she and Rob delight in treating Athletes, it's a treat for them. She said he was probably quite jealous that she was in there with me instead of him being in there with me. "We love all of our clients" she explained, "But an Athlete is something special. Someone we can really treat with various modalities and see great response." 

I told her about the problem I was having with my hamstring and left glute, right at the tie-in. It is causing me discomfort when sitting. Sometimes I kneel at my computer at work to alleviate the discomfort.  I am also much weaker on the left when I squat, it is impeding my growth.

She asked what type of massage I liked, she said I had the "hot stone". I told her I want the deepest massage possible and I really don't need stones, it was the Yelp Deal.

I never saw a stone.

There was lots of discussion and stretching, Rachael determined that the cause of my problems was my foot. "Did I ever suffer from Plantar Fascitis?" Oh yes indeed I did, back when I was 40 and training for a marathon. I had to stop running for two years due to the pain.

Turns out the pain in my butt is all because of my darn foot! Who would have known?

Rachael had me actively participating in the massage, having me push against her, then release and she went deeper. I would take a deep breath each time I pushed, knowing that as soon as I started to relax the pain would only become deeper and deeper as her hands and arms were able to move deeper into the muscle. She asked if I was OK several times, I was panting and breathing hard, but the pain was good pain.

We discussed A.R.T, she knows it and incorporated some. She added in Structural and Fascia Alignment, Trigger Therapy and Deep Tissue.

I thoroughly enjoyed the way she interacted with me, making me as much a part of my healing as she was, we worked as a team.

It felt so good I wanted to cry.

I asked her why this was so different than any other massage I have ever had - no massage has been like this. I still love every massage I have ever received, but they were relaxing for the most part. This was work and healing and relief all at once.

My glute, my quad, my hamstring, my calf, my ankle, my foot. All of it got the attention it had been screaming about for so long. 

She asked if it was OK to work high, up at the adductor. "Work as high as you need to." I told her. It felt tight and I asked her if adductors should be that tight. "Well, yes they are typically tight." she responded, but I explained "It feels like you could pluck it like a guitar string, should it be THAT tight?". "No" she laughed, "Not that tight, but we can fix that."

It was time, she apologized as she knew I could continue for quite some time. I told her it was the best one hour massage my left leg has ever had "No" she replied, "I massaged your left glute too!"  We both got a chuckle out of that. I told her I would be back, and soon, to have the other leg, and the rest of my body worked, this was amazing, I felt like I had just experienced a new phenomenon that may change my whole body.

She had me move, to see how the range of motion increased, the muscles were loose and softened, not tight and hard, resisting even slight pressure. 

Rachael said to be sure to ice the joints and insertions, then allow my skin to warm and then stretch. I would probably experience soreness for a day or two and that is expected.

I booked another appointment for two weeks later. 90 minuets, the other glute needs some work too!

I got in my car, and opened my water bottle. My top had been down, it was in the sun and the contents blew up all over me and Myredrocket, damn, this will need to be cleaned up before David sees it (and I succeeded!)

I had to eat, I had missed a meal. I drove home as fast as legally possible and I wolfed down my tilapia, asparagus and almonds.

I strapped on my ice, and found it hard to stand while icing my ham/glute tie-in, so had to sit and it felt great! I texted Roy- "It was amazing! My squat will improve, I cannot wait to show you!" He seemed as excited as I was.

 Later my calf started talking back, so I slapped the ice on that too.  I told David how fantastic it was, how it would fix everything that ails me. He said I need to find a way of going more often. Hmmm, then sell 5 packs at a discount I understand.

Later I stretched and foam rolled, I was tender. I could feel the dramatic difference between the left (the lucky) leg and the right (the unlucky) leg.  My body felt like It had a long overdue medical treatment, this was what massage is supposed to do, it is supposed to heal and balance. I don't think I will ever go anyplace else again for a massage.